Macadamia nuts, indigenous to Australia, were an important food source for the Aboriginal people who originally inhabited the island continent. In the 1880s, seeds from these beautiful trees were introduced to Hawaii, where they became an important crop. Buy extras if you make these cookies. The nuts are great to snack on, especially when roasted with olive oil and salt.
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided use
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, melted
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, olive oil, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the vanilla and almond extracts. Beat with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer until combined. Add the egg and beat until smooth. (Do not overbeat.)
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Whisk thoroughly. Add to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed (or stir by hand) until combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate the dough for several hours, or up to overnight.
When ready to bake, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350°F.
Pour the other 1/2 cup sugar into a shallow bowl.
Roll the dough into golf ball-size balls (add a small amount of additional flour if the dough is too sticky to handle), then roll in the sugar. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each ball. Gently press on the balls with the bottom of a glass to partially flatten.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges barely begin to brown. Halfway through the baking time, tap the baking sheet(s) lightly against the oven rack to deflate any domes that might be developing in the center of the cookies.
Let the cookies cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then using a thin-bladed spatula, transfer in a single layer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Dip the tines of a dinner fork in the melted chocolate and drizzle over the tops of the cookies in a zig-zag pattern. Store the cookies in a single layer.
Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies